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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/22/2019 at 01:02:34 (UTC).

YAJAIRA TERRIQUEZ VS KAZI FOODS INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/19/2017 YAJAIRA TERRIQUEZ filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against KAZI FOODS INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7547

  • Filing Date:

    12/19/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

TERRIQUEZ YAJAIRA

Defendants and Respondents

KAZI FOODS INC

DOES 1 TO 20

KFC

KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN

CHICKEN KENTUCKY FRIED

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

ELIHU KAVEH S. ESQ

HOPPER DAVID CAMERON

NICHOLS ROBBIE R

ELIHU KAVEH SAM ESQ

BABAJANIAN AREEN

Defendant Attorneys

MANJLAI HAROON

KHAN MASOOD R. ESQ.

ALLISON JASON JAMES

 

Court Documents

Unknown

6/8/2018: Unknown

CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

6/19/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

Notice of Motion

10/4/2018: Notice of Motion

Notice of Motion

10/4/2018: Notice of Motion

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

10/4/2018: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Notice

10/16/2018: Notice

Order

12/6/2018: Order

Minute Order

2/5/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

4/17/2019: Minute Order

Jury Instructions

6/13/2019: Jury Instructions

Witness List

6/13/2019: Witness List

Witness List

6/20/2019: Witness List

Exhibit List

6/20/2019: Exhibit List

Jury Instructions

6/20/2019: Jury Instructions

Trial Brief

6/21/2019: Trial Brief

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

12/29/2017: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

SUMMONS

12/19/2017: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF GOV'T CODE 12940 ET SEQ ;ETC

12/19/2017: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF GOV'T CODE 12940 ET SEQ ;ETC

24 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/21/2019
  • Trial Brief; Filed by Kazi Foods, Inc (Defendant)

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  • 06/20/2019
  • Statement of the Case; Filed by Yajaira Terriquez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/20/2019
  • Exhibit List; Filed by Yajaira Terriquez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/20/2019
  • Jury Instructions; Filed by Yajaira Terriquez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/20/2019
  • Witness List; Filed by Yajaira Terriquez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/14/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department 39; Final Status Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 06/14/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/13/2019
  • Exhibit List; Filed by Yajaira Terriquez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/13/2019
  • Jury Instructions; Filed by KFC (Legacy Party)

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  • 06/13/2019
  • Trial Brief; Filed by Yajaira Terriquez (Plaintiff)

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41 More Docket Entries
  • 03/27/2018
  • Answer; Filed by Kazi Foods, Inc (Defendant)

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  • 01/19/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Yajaira Terriquez (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/19/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 12/29/2017
  • ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 12/29/2017
  • OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/29/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/29/2017
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 12/19/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 12/19/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Yajaira Terriquez (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/19/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF GOV'T CODE 12940 ET SEQ ;ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC687547    Hearing Date: January 07, 2021    Dept: 39

Case Number: BC687547

Case Name: Yajaira Terriquez v. Kazi Foods, Inc., et al.

Hearing: 7 Jan 2021

Proceeding: Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication

Moving Party: Defendant Kazi Foods, Inc.

Opposing Party: Plaintiff Yajaira Terriquez

Service of Motion: Timely filed on September 23, 2020

Opposition: Timely filed and served by e-mail on November 19, 2020

Reply: None filed as of November 30, 2020

Courts Tentative Ruling

The court DENIES the motion in its entirety. Counsel for Plaintiff to give notice.

Background

This case arises in connection with Plaintiff Yajaira Terriquez’s (hereinafter “Terriquez” or “Plaintiff”) employment with Defendant Kazi Foods, Inc. (hereinafter “Kazi” or “Defendant”). Plaintiff alleges she was hired by Kazi as a cashier on or about August 21, 2015. (Compl. ¶ 14.) On or about November 20, 2015, Plaintiff allegedly discovered that she was pregnant after a visit to a local hospital, and the attending physician allegedly placed Plaintiff under work restrictions, including lifting restrictions. (Compl. ¶ 21.) Plaintiff allegedly informed her supervisors, including Georgina Flores (hereinafter “Flores”) of her pregnancy and work restrictions. (Compl. ¶ 21.) According to Plaintiff, Flores harassed her due to her pregnancy, including by making disparaging comments, and Flores also reduced her scheduled working hours whenever Plaintiff required a modification to attend prenatal visits. (Compl. ¶ 22.)

On or about May 3, 2016, Flores allegedly denied Plaintiff’s request to leave work early to go to a hospital after she began experiencing pain and spotting due to her pregnancy. (Compl. ¶ 23.) Plaintiff allegedly underwent an emergency Caesarean section on or about May 7, 2016, due to complications on her pregnancy, and she was allegedly released from the hospital on or about May 10, 2016. (Compl. ¶¶ 24-25.) According to Plaintiff, Flores informed her on or about May 25, 2016 that she was terminated, and she was not paid all outstanding wages owed to her after the termination of her employment. (Compl. ¶ 26.)

Plaintiff filed the Complaint on December 19, 2017 alleging 13 causes of action for: (1) discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), (2) harassment in violation of the FEHA, (3) retaliation in violation of the FEHA, (4) failure to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of the FEHA, (5) failure to provide reasonable accommodations in violation of the FEHA, (6) failure to engage in a good faith interactive process in violation of the FEHA, (7) declaratory judgment, (8) wrongful termination in violation of public policy, (9) failure to pay wages, (10) failure to provide rest breaks, (11) failure to provide itemized wage statements, (12) waiting time penalties, and (13) failure to permit inspection of personnel and payroll records.

Defendant Kazi now moves for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication on the following three issues:

  1. Kazi did not violate the FEHA statutes as to Plaintiff, as to the first through sixth causes of action,

  2. Plaintiff was not wrongfully terminated, as to the eighth cause of action, and

  3. Plaintiff did not violate wage and hour laws against Plaintiff, as to the ninth through twelfth causes of action.

Plaintiff opposes the motions.

Evidentiary Objections

Plaintiff’s Objections to the Declaration of Syed Hussain (“Hussain Decl.”)

Overruled: 1-3, 15-18 Overruled in-part, Sustained in-part: 14 Sustained: 4-13, 19-25

Objections 1-2: Overruled. Relevant. Not vague and ambiguous.

Objection 3: Overruled. Declarant establishes foundation for his personal experiences with the store. Not hearsay. Not conclusory or speculative.

Objections 4-6, 8: Sustained. Lack of foundation. Declarant does not establish foundation for his testimony or personal knowledge of Plaintiff’s actions or her communications or interactions with Flores. Declarant testified at deposition that he did not personally interact with Plaintiff. Pl. Evid. Ex. 2.

Objection 7: Sustained. See Objection 4. Improper legal conclusion.

Objection 9: Sustained. Lack of foundation. Declarant does not establish personal knowledge of Plaintiff’s actions and whether she presented the note to Kazi’s manager or was required to write the note at Flores’ instruction, as she contends. See Pl. Resp. to Def. Sep. State. (“PRS”) ¶ 7.

Objections 10-13: Sustained. Lack of foundation. Inadmissible hearsay without exception

Objection 14: Overruled in-part, sustained in-part. Overruled as to the first sentence. Declarant has personal knowledge that Kazi utilizes an Employee Handbook. The objection is otherwise sustained. See Objection 9.

Objection 15: Overruled. Relevant. Not vague and ambiguous. Declarant can establish personal knowledge and foundation as to what version of the Employee Handbook was used when Plaintiff was terminated.

Objections 16-17: Overruled. Relevant. Not vague and ambiguous. Declarant can establish foundation for his knowledge of the contents of the Employee Handbook.

Objection 18: Overruled. Relevant. Not vague, ambiguous, or overbroad.

Objections 19-25: Sustained. Lack of foundation. See Objection 8.

Discussion

I. Legal Standard

“The purpose of the law of summary judgment is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal. 4th 826, 843.)

A party may move for summary judgment in any action or proceeding if it is contended that the action has no merit or that there is no defense to the action or proceeding. The motion may be made at any time after 60 days have elapsed since the general appearance in the action or proceeding of each party against whom the motion is directed or at any earlier time after the general appearance that the court, with or without notice and upon good cause shown, may direct…. The motion shall be heard no later than 30 days before the date of trial, unless the court for good cause orders otherwise. The filing of the motion shall not extend the time within which a party must otherwise file a responsive pleading.

(Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (a).)

A party may move for summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action within an action, one or more affirmative defenses, one or more claims for damages, or one or more issues of duty, if the party contends that the cause of action has no merit, that there is no affirmative defense to the cause of action, that there is no merit to an affirmative defense as to any cause of action, that there is no merit to a claim for damages, as specified in Section 3294 of the Civil Code, or that one or more defendants either owed or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff or plaintiffs.

(Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).) “A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (Ibid.) A motion for summary judgment must be denied where the moving party’s evidence does not prove all material facts, even in the absence of any opposition, or where the opposition is weak. (Leyva v. Superior Court (1985) 164 Cal. App. 3d 462, 475; Salasguevara v. Wyeth Labs., Inc. (1990) 222 Cal. App. 3d 379, 384, 387.)

“The motion shall be supported by affidavits, declarations, admissions, answers to interrogatories, depositions, and matters of which judicial notice shall or may be taken. The supporting papers shall include a separate statement setting forth plainly and concisely all material facts that the moving party contends are undisputed. Each of the material facts stated shall be followed by a reference to the supporting evidence. The failure to comply with this requirement of a separate statement may in the court’s discretion constitute a sufficient ground for denial of the motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (b)(1); see also Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1350(c)(2) & (d).)

“[A] moving defendant … has two means by which to shift the burden of proof under [former] subdivision (o)(2) of section 437c [now subdivision (p)(2)] to the plaintiff to produce evidence creating a triable issue of fact. The defendant may rely upon factually insufficient discovery responses by the plaintiff to show that the plaintiff cannot establish an essential element of the cause of action sued upon. [Citation.] Alternatively, the defendant may utilize the tried and true technique of negating (‘disproving’) an essential element of the plaintiff’s cause of action.” (Brantley v. Pisaro (Brantley) (1996) 42 Cal. App. 4th 1591, 1598.)

In analyzing motions for summary judgment, courts must apply a three-step analysis: “(1) identify the issues framed by the pleadings; (2) determine whether the moving party has negated the opponent’s claims; and (3) determine whether the opposition has demonstrated the existence of a triable, material factual issue.” (Hinesley v. Oakshade Town Center (2005) 135 Cal. App. 4th 289, 294.) The court must “view the evidence in the light most favorable to the opposing party and accept all inferences reasonably drawn therefrom.” (Ibid.; see also Dore v. Arnold Worldwide, Inc. (2006) 39 Cal. 4th 384, 389 [Courts “liberally construe the evidence in support of the party opposing summary judgment and resolve doubts concerning the evidence in favor of that party.”].)

II. Motion for Summary Adjudication

“A party may move for summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action within an action, one or more affirmative defenses, one or more claims for damages, or one or more issues of duty, if the party contends that the cause of action has no merit, that there is no affirmative defense to the cause of action, that there is no merit to an affirmative defense as to any cause of action, that there is no merit to a claim for damages, as specified in Section 3294 of the Civil Code, or that one or more defendants either owed or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff or plaintiffs. A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).)

The “issues” identified in the notice of the motion do not directly speak to any specific cause of action, affirmative defense, a claim of damages, or an issue of duty. (See Not. Mot. 2.) Nevertheless, as Defendant has identified the causes of action to which these “issues” apply, the court will interpret these issues as a motion for summary adjudication as to the identified causes of action based on the “issues” stated.

A. Eighth Cause of Action for Wrongful Termination

Defendant moves for summary adjudication on the first through eighth causes of action on the grounds that “Plaintiff was not terminated for anything other than her failing to return from her Leave of Absence.” (Mot. 8.) Defendant does not submit any admissible evidence in support of these arguments and fails to meet its initial burden on the subject motion.

Although Defendant submits the Declaration of Syed Hussain (“Hussain Declaration”) in support of its motion, Hussain does not establish any personal knowledge of the events in question and testified at deposition that he did could not recall any specific interactions with Plaintiff beyond seeing that she was working when he visited the store. (Pl. Evid. Ex. 2 at 99:10-14.) Hussain’s testimony further establishes that all of his information about Plaintiff was obtained either from Flores or from Plaintiff’s personnel file. (Id. at 63:1-64:19, 65:11-66:23, 68:2-69:25, 75:1-1492:6-20, 107:4-12, 114:6-115:16.) Similarly, Hussain’s deposition testimony demonstrates that he did not have personal knowledge of the documents in Plaintiff’s personnel file or their mode of preparation. (See generally Pl. Ex. 2.) Hussain’s testimony is not sufficient to meet Defendant’s initial burden to demonstrate the nonexistence of a triable issue as to the first through sixth causes of action.

Plaintiff authenticates a number of the documents Defendant submits in connection with the motion. (See Declaration of Yajaira Terriquez (“Terriquez Decl.”) ¶16, Exs. 8-9.) These documents standing alone, however, are insufficient to demonstrate that Plaintiff voluntarily chose not to return to her employment, as Defendant contends.

Defendant’s Exhibit A is a document that states: “Had to leave due to premature delivery. Baby was born at 25 weeks and will be hospitalized for 3 or 4 months. I will be coming back to work in 6 months.” (Def. Ex. A.) This document is neither signed nor dated. (Ibid.) Defendant contends this document and other documents regarding Plaintiff’s medical leave demonstrate Plaintiff was not wrongfully terminated but instead chose not to return to work. (Mot. 5, 8.) Hussain asserts Plaintiff did not return to her job in August as she had indicated, but he does not demonstrate any personal knowledge to support this assertion. (See Hussain Decl. ¶ 16.) Defendant does not present any other evidence to demonstrate Plaintiff chose not to return to work at the end of her medical leave.

Plaintiff admits she wrote this note on May 25, 2016, but states that she wrote this at Flores’ direction. (Pl. Resp. to Def. Sep. State. (“PRS”) ¶ 7; Declaration of Yajaira Terriquez (“Terriquez Decl.”) ¶ 16, Ex. 9.) Plaintiff further attests after she completed, signed, and dated medical documents under Flores’ instruction, Flores handed Plaintiff a termination notice, stating “the only paper I can give you is this one.” (PRS ¶ 11; Terriquez Decl. ¶ 16, Ex. 9.) Plaintiff further avers she called Flores on or about August 3, 2016 to inform Flores that Plaintiff was ready to return to work, but Flores responded that she was managing a different restaurant and told Plaintiff to call the new manager or Hussain. (Terriquez Decl. ¶ 24.) According to Plaintiff, Flores texted her shortly thereafter and informed Plaintiff that Flores spoke to the new manager at the restaurant and that there were no openings for Plaintiff. (Ibid.) Even if Defendant’s documents were sufficient to meet Defendant’s initial burden, which they are not, Plaintiff’s evidence would be sufficient to demonstrate the existence of a triable issue as to whether she was terminated instead of voluntarily choosing not to return to work.

In sum, Defendant fails to meet its burden to demonstrate the nonexistence of a triable issue on the question of whether Plaintiff was terminated by Flores or chose not to return to work. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).) The court, therefore, DENIES the motion on Issue 2 and summary adjudication as to the eighth cause of action.

B. First through Sixth Causes of Action for Violation of the FEHA

Defendant moves for summary adjudication on the first through sixth causes of action on the grounds that (1) Plaintiff was not terminated for anything other than failing to return from her leave of absence, (2) Plaintiff has no evidence of harassment of any kind, and (3) Plaintiff did not request nor require any accommodation. Mot. 8-9.

Defendant’s arguments regarding wrongful termination fail for the reasons discussed above in connection with the eighth cause of action. Defendant’s remaining arguments similarly fail for failure to present admissible evidence in support of these contentions. As discussed above, Hussain’s deposition testimony establishes he lacks personal knowledge of Flores’ interactions with Plaintiff and is not qualified to testify about Plaintiff’s circumstances and whether she suffered any violations of the FEHA. (See Pl. Evid. Ex. 2 at 63:1-64:19, 65:11-66:23, 68:2-69:25, 75:1-1492:6-20, 107:4-12, 114:6-115:16.)

Defendant contends it is entitled to summary adjudication because Plaintiff cannot produce any evidence Kazi violated the FEHA regarding any aspect of Plaintiff’s employment. (Mot. 10.) As the moving party, however, Defendant bears the initial burden to demonstrate these causes of action have no merit. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).) Defendant’s unsupported assertion that Plaintiff lacks evidence is insufficient to meet that burden. (See Brantley, supra, 42 Cal. App. 4th at 1598.)

Accordingly, the court DENIES the motion on Issue 1 and DENIES summary adjudication as to the first through sixth causes of action.

C. Ninth through Twelfth Causes of Action for Violation of the Labor Code

Defendant moves for summary adjudication on the ninth through twelfth causes of action on the grounds that Kazi did not violate wage and hour laws against Plaintiff and that Plaintiff was not terminated for requesting maternity leave as she alleges. (Mot. 10-11.) As with the other issues discussed above, Defendant fails to present admissible evidence to meet its initial burden on this motion.

The court, therefore, DENIES the motion on Issue 3 and DENIES summary adjudication as to the ninth through twelfth causes of action.

III. Conclusion

For these reasons, the court DENIES the motion in its entirety.

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